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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Dangerous shopping: PriceRitePhoto.com

A sincere message to PriceRitePhoto manager Steve Phillips in Brooklyn, New York, please be nice to your customers. Being rude, abusive, and threatening does not win you any friends, also baiting and switching customer orders is a bad thing.

Your website says:

Our goal at Price Rite Photo is to make you, our customer, feel comfortable and satisfied with your experience here. Our commitment to sales quality and customer satisfaction is second to none. At Price Rite Photo, we have strong feelings about our customers and to that end our sales and support teams are dedicated to making your experience with us a pleasant and lasting one.

However, professional photographer, Thomas Hawk, had a very different experience when dealing with PriceRitePhoto.com:

"I will make sure you will never be able to place an order on the internet again." "I'm an attorney, I will sue you." "I will call the CEO of your company and play him the tape of this phone call." "I'm going to call your local police and have two officers come over and arrest you." "You'd better get this through your thick skull." "You have no idea who you are dealing with."

These are all direct threats that I received today from an individual who identified himself as Steve Phillips, the manager of PriceRitePhoto in Brooklyn, New York when I called to inquire about my order with them. My crime? Telling him that I planned to write an article about my unfortunate experience with his company regarding the camera order I had placed with him yesterday.

How are these people able to stay in business?

How indeed? FYI, PriceRitePhoto address:

1274 49th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11219
Google Map
update: This address is actually just a mail drop [The Brooklyn Mailing Center]

PriceRitePhoto: Abusive Bait and Switch Camera Store [ThomasHawk.com, Nov. 29, 2005]
PriceRitePhoto rip-off artists exposed [boingboing.net]
Abusive New York Camera Store Threatens Blogger [digg.com]

: The users of digg.com (diggers) have been calling PriceRitePhoto.com and posting recordings of their conversations with the firm on the internet. The influence of digg.com on business practices might get noticed by a lot of people in this case.

According to the Better Business Bureau of Metro New York PriceRitePhoto.com also does business at other locations in Brooklyn and on the web under these names:
LGD Superstore
Lets Go Digital
A. Heffco Technologies, Inc.
C&A Marketing
Dealz Net
Hype Audio
Ideal Audio/Video
Ideal Photo and Video

The BBB says:
Based on BBB files, this business has an unsatisfactory record with the Bureau because it failed to respond to one or more complaints.

update Dec. 2, 2005:

An Apology Letter From Ed Lopez, Owner of PriceRitePhoto [ThomasHawk.com, Dec 1, 2005]
I received a call this morning from Ed Lopez, the owner of PriceRitePhoto. We spoke at length and he told me that the activity that has resulted from my post on my experience with his business has most certainly impacted his business. Mr. Lopez told me that he was calling to apologize and that Mr. Philips was going to be terminated at a company board meeting later on this morning.

PriceRitePhoto: Shut Down [ThomasHawk.com, Dec 1, 2005]
PriceRitePhoto is, at least for now, off the internet. I received another call this afternoon from the Ed Lopez, the alleged owner of PriceRitePhoto. Ed has said that hackers have taken his site down off the internet. I assume he has been subjected to denial of service attacks that may have been inspired in part by my post on my horrible treatment that I received at his camera store.

Consumer-Generated Justice: Blogger Sidelines E-Commerce Site [mediapost.com, Dec. 2, 2005]
Most! Evil! Photography! Store! Ever! [Gothomist, Nov. 30, 2005]